Victims of political repressions in Azerbaijan need your help

After a former KGB general Heydar Aliyev came to power in Azerbaijan in 1993 – political repressions started. In 2003 the father was followed by his son, Ilham Aliev and repressions against dissidents became systematic. Human rights defenders of Azerbaijan regularly compose lists of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners. Among them – Leyla and Arif Yunus, a couple of Azeri dissidents and human rights activists, who are now refugees in the Netherlands.

Public lecture of Erlan Abdyldaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic

On 7 October Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan Erlan Abdyldaev gave a lecture at The Hague Clingendael Institute. Abdyldaev referred to the 25th anniversary of Kyrgyzstan’s independence and the importance of developing democratic institutes and civil society. He mentioned that in 2017 Kyrgyzstan will elect a new President. Abdyldaev stressed the importance of successful transition to a market economy, stable economic development and restoring destroyed economic relations. The priority sectors for Kyrgyzstan are: mining, energy, transport infrastructure and tourism. Abdyldaev emphasized that Kyrgyzstan’s main partner in foreign policy is the United Nations and that it fully adheres to its principles. He also mentioned the challenges Kyrgyzstan faces, such as international terrorism, extremism, illicit weapons and drugs trafficking, as well as money laundering.

Tajik president accuses fugitive deputy defence minister of attacks that killed 22.

After two attacks on Friday September 4th that left a reported 22 people dead in the Tajik capital Dushanbe and the nearby town Vahdat, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has now confirmed that former Deputity Defence Minister Abduhalim Nazarzoda was involved in the attacks. He has been charged with sabotage, terrorism, treason and the organization of an extremist community. Nazarzoda and “as many as 130” of his supporters fled to the mountainous Ramit Gorge, where a special investigation group of officers of the National Security State Committee (NSSC), the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor General’s office have started an operation to detain them. According to Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon they are “evil terrorists” who are “pursuing the same goals as IS” and want to “undermine his rule”.

Kazakh cabinet is reshuffled while super Energy Ministry is created

The Kazakh government was reshuffled on Wednesday 6 August by President Nursultan Nazarbaev. Two main priorities were put forward : the reduction of the number of ministries and the creation of a super-sized Energy Ministry. These decisions reinforce the position of personalities close to the President while trying to limit the impact of Western sanctions on Russia.

Tajikistan blocks YouTube

Access to the move-sharing website YouTube has been partially blocked in Tajikistan on Tuesday 10 June. The Tajik government has been blamed for blocking the website but denies all involvement. In 2013 the Tajik authorities blocked YouTube after a movie of a dancing and singing President Emomallii Rahmon was uploaded onto the Internet.

Van Laar: meer aandacht voor impact Nederlands beleid in Afrika en Azië

Afgelopen donderdag, 27 maart, debatteerde de Tweede Kamer met minister Ploumen voor Buitenlandse Handel en Ontwikkelingssamenwerking over de Meerjarige Strategische Plannen (MJSP’s). In deze MJSP’s worden de plannen van de Nederlandse ambassades voor de vijftien OS-partnerlanden en voor de Grote Meren regio en de Hoorn van Afrika verder uitgewerkt. Het werd een stevig debat, waarin Roelof van Laar (PvdA) beleidscoherentie sterk onder de aandacht bracht.

NATO strengthens defenses against Russia

Yesterday, 1 April, NATO members ordered military commanders to draw up plans for reinforcing NATO’s defenses to shore up confidence among the Eastern European members, including the Baltic States and Poland. Also, all civilian and military cooperation with Russia is suspended. Foreign Ministers of the 28 NATO members gathered in Brussels for the first time since the Russian annexation of Crimea.

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